In Focus

Spain’s most famous fugitive may hold key to forming country’s next government

After a deadlocked election, the former Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont, who lives in self-imposed exile after a failed independence bid, will be crucial to the Socialists pulling together a coalition, writes Graham Keeley

Tuesday 25 July 2023 11:14 BST
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<p>Carles Puigdemont speaks at the European parliament in Brussels earlier this month</p>

Carles Puigdemont speaks at the European parliament in Brussels earlier this month

Spain’s most famous fugitive – former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont – could be key to hopes to form a new government after a snap election failed to find any outright winner.

Puigdemont, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Belgium for nearly six years since leaving Spain after a failed independence bid in 2017, is the ideological head of the hardline Catalan separatist Junts per Catalunya party, which has seven seats.

This could be enough for Spain’s Socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez to piece together a coalition government and claw his way back to power, but it would come at a political cost, analysts said.

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